Troubleshoot Windows 10 that freezes or locks randomly

For the last year, I’ve been running Windows 10 on about 4 PCs and haven’t really had much trouble until recently. A couple of days ago I started having a strange problem where my Windows 10 PC randomly froze, eventually forcing me to do a factory reset on the system.

The weird thing is that I have this system dual booting with Windows 7 and I don’t have any freezing or locking issues on that OS. I used to have this kind of problem, so I started doing all the different fixes like updating device drivers, installing latest Windows update, scanning with SFC etc and and finally the problem went away.

I’m not really 100% sure which method fixed the problem, so I’ll list them all and hope it fixes the problem for you. If not, post and comment and I’ll try to help.


Method 1 – Uninstall Incompatible Programs

I’m pretty sure this is my problem because I didn’t really have any problems in Windows 10 for months until I installed a few new programs. Some programs that have been used to scan and/or modify my hardware (Speccy, Acronis True Image, f.lux, etc.), may have started to cause the freeze.

However, any program can cause this problem, so go through any new programs you may have installed and try uninstalling them to see if that fixes the problem. or not.

If you’re doing a clean install of Windows 10 and are having issues, keep reading.

Method 2 – Update Drivers & BIOS

You might have tried this already, but it’s still worth mentioning as it can definitely be the reason why Windows 10 is locked. The main drivers that you want to focus on updating are the graphics, network, audio, and chipset drivers.

device driver

If you happen to have an NVidia graphics card, you really need to make sure you download the NVidia Control Panel program and keep it up to date. You don’t need to install all the other junk that comes with it, just drivers. Check out my previous post on automatically updating your Windows drivers.

Also, if you have Windows installed on the SSD, make sure to update the firmware for the SSD. For example, if you have a Crucial SSD, you can download storage operating software to do this for you.

Some users have had this problem with hardware that simply doesn’t have Windows 10 drivers. If that’s your case, the best option would be to disable the device or replace it with another version. newer. For example, if you have a really old WiFi card and no Windows 10 drivers, try disabling it via Device Manager or BIOS and see if the freeze goes away.

Finally, you should update your BIOS in a situation like this. Normally, I wouldn’t recommend updating the BIOS if everything is working fine, but it’s a good idea when there’s a problem. Check out my post on determining if you can update the BIOS.

Method 3 – Adjust the paging file

If you happen to notice that the problem only occurs when you are copying or moving large files or doing anything that requires heavy use of the hard disk, the problem may be related to the paging file.

This is especially true if you are using an SSD on your system. You can check the paging file by going to Control Panel, then Systemclick Advanced system setupclick Advanced tab, then click Settingclick Advanced tab again, then click Change Below Virtual memory.

flip the data drives

In a previous post I gave some tips on optimizing the paging file, which in most cases I would recommend, but for this problem I recommend keeping the paging file on top. a partition with the Windows OS and allows Windows to automatically manage the size of the paging file.

Method 4 – Disconnect all devices

It may be the case that Windows 10 is not causing the problem, but some external devices are. A good way to test this is to disconnect any and all devices from the computer, then start it up.

You should disconnect all USB devices, including mouse and keyboard. I suggest you buy another mouse and keyboard and try that just to rule out external devices completely before proceeding.

Method 5 – Check for faulty hardware

This one is a bit harder to spot and often harder to fix as well. If something goes wrong with the hardware, you’ll see problems with any other version of Windows you’ve installed. If you only have Windows 10 installed, you will need to perform a hardware check.


You’ll want to check out my articles on how to diagnose problems with your memory and check your hard drive for errors. Also, you’ll want to go into your BIOS and check if there’s any kind of hardware test you can run from there. Usually, there is an option like Diagnose or something similar.

Remember to also check your CD/DVD/Blu-ray drive as it is often overlooked, but can certainly cause problems in Windows.

Method 6 – Turn off overclocking

If you have a high-end machine with a high-end CPU, your BIOS settings can cause Windows to hang. It is best to disable any automatic CPU throttling or overclocking.

On some CPUs you should see if the C6 state is enabled. This feature tries to put the CPU under the code, but it can cause more problems. Basically go into the BIOS and make sure everything is set to default for clock speed, voltage, etc


The same applies to any DRAM modification. Set everything back to default or automatic and see what happens.

Method 7 – Power Settings

This option will likely only be useful to those who have a PCIe graphics card installed on their system. Go to Control Panel, then Energy options and make sure you are using High performance plan ahead.

If so, click Change plan settings And after that Change advanced power settings.


Scroll down until you see PCI Express and then expand Link to state power management. Make sure it is set to Turn off.

Method 8 – Clean install Windows 10

If you are still having problems freezing Windows 10, you should probably back up your data and do a clean install of Windows 10. This shouldn’t take long and if you already have the latest version of Windows 10 installed. , this feature is now integrated into the operating system.

Read my step-by-step post on how to do a real clean install of Windows 10.

Overall, Windows 10 is a pretty great operating system and has always performed like a champ for most users. However, with so many variations of hardware that must be supported by Windows, some users will inevitably run into problems. Hopefully one of the above methods will fix any freezing issues you’re having in Windows 10. Enjoy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *